A proposal to establish a National Park in American Samoa is being introduced to Congress this summer with hearings beginning in late August. Preliminary hearings were held in Samoa in January 1987 (BATS, June 1987). This park will protect a wide variety of unique plants and animals, many of which are found nowhere else in the world. The park also will serve as an invaluable cultural, educational and scientific resource in addition to providing a sanctuary for Samoa's unique flying foxes. Two species of flying foxes would be protected, the Tongan flying fox (Pteropus tonganus) and the Samoan flying fox (P. samoensis). The latter is among the last remaining bats in the world that are active during the day, soaring above the rain forest like eagles.
As a Trust Territory, American Samoa has representation in the U.S. House of Representatives, but not in the Senate; therefore, letters to your Senator are especially important. Letters in support of a National Park in American Samoa should be sent to your Congressman and Senator with a carbon copy to:
Congressman Bruce Vento; Chairman, Subcommittee on National Parks and Recreation; Room 818, House Annex #1; Washington, DC 20515. Senator J. Bennett Johnston; Chairman, Energy Committee; 136 Hart Senate Office Bldg.; Washington, DC 20501.
This is a portion of the area proposed for National Park status in American Samoa.
PHOTO BY MERLIN D. TUTTLE